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The Lenten Diet

The Lenten Diet

A diet involving no meat on Fridays for a short period.

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A Lenten Diet is religious in nature and observed primarily by those in the Catholic church for 40 days out of the year. Lent is classified as a season of spiritual housecleaning and the days of Lent are a period of self denial. Typically during lent those that practice it are giving up something throughout that 40 days in addition to observing a special diet. Many people who are not observing the Lenten diet specifications do decide to give something up for Lent. The diet that is undergone during Lent is intended to transform people physically and spiritually.

This is not a diet intended for weight loss, but for spiritual purposes. Typically all members over the age of 14 are asked to avoid eating meat on the Fridays during Lent. This is done to help demonstrate self denial and control materialism. Early on in the Catholic church, meat was a privilege. The term meat does not include fish or seafood as it refers specifically to the flesh of warm blooded animals.

The Lenten Diet also includes fasting on Ash Wednesday which is the start of the Lenten season. This fast would mean having only one meal on that day, and that meal would be meatless.

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  • Designed to increase spiritual discipline
  • Only takes place 40 days of the year
  • Fasting is minimal
  • Not required of those that are under 14 or those with health problems
  • Many forms of seafood are allowed on Fridays
  • Allows you to somewhat cleanse the body
  • Not done for weight loss purposes

The Lenten Diet is completely spiritual in nature. This is not a diet you do to lose weight. The Lenten Diet takes place for 40 days out of the year typically starting with Ash Wednesday and ending either the Thursday or Saturday before the Easter holiday. Those that participate in the Lenten Diet are forbidden from having meat on Fridays during Lent. Ash Wednesday is for fasting. On that day, one meatless meal is allowed. Not all meat is banned on Fridays with this diet. Anything that is a warm blooded animal is what has to be avoided. Below are the types of foods you can have on Fridays:

  • Lobster
  • Crab
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Octopus
  • All vegetables fresh or canned
  • Fresh, canned or preserved fruit
  • Fruit and vegetable juices
  • Jam, jelly or marmalade
  • Beans and lentils
  • Olives and pickles
  • Rice
  • Spaghetti
  • Olive oil (if used sparingly)

There is no exercise regiment with this diet as it is not used for weight loss.


Lent may be something you’ve been puzzled about for a while, but every year there are millions of people that follow the Lenten Diet for 40 days. Again, this is not a diet that is based on weight loss. This way of eating is part of a spiritual disciplined routine and teaches people to deny themselves for a period of time. The Lenten Diet does however incorporate some practices that might be able to improve your overall health if done on a consistent basis.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

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