Is Atkins sufficient sacrifice on non-lent Fridays

I’m on Atkins (which is not the same as gluten-free. Gluten-free can still have massive amounts of carbs), for the sake of my health. Diabetes and heart-issues run in both sides of my family, so being obese as I am at the age of thirty, losing weight is a must. Last summer, averaging 4-5 miles a day wasn’t enough to lose much of anything. Thus far on Atkins, I have lost 30 pounds since Thanksgiving and I have had less digestive issues as a plus.
So my question is: During non-lent Fridays, is giving up carbs sufficient sacrifice for eating meat?
My housemates say that because it is a constant dietary requirement to give up starches, it doesn’t count as a sacrifice. Furthermore, one called it a sacrifice to my body and not for God’s greater glory and honour. They believe that one must already have existing conditions of diabeties or pregnancy to fall under the church’s dispensation.
I will concede during Lent, I made do with an egg omlette and a piece of fish on top of cooked spinach, but I argue during non-lent giving up meat as well as starch is a double and unnecessary burden. While guests can order pizza (bread, too much cheese), chinese (rice), sushi (rice), grilled cheese (bread, too much cheese), peanut butter and jelly (nuts and bread), etc, there are not a lot of sustainable options for Atkins meatless if I am not able to cook.
Please, I really need a priest’s or someone in authority’s weigh in on this issue! What does the church say on the matter? Am I already giving up enough on Non- Lenten Fridays or do I have to give up on a second (borderline third with limited dairy) major food group?


Your housemates have a point. Penance is not useful in human terms. It is a matter of self-denial as an expression of our love and contrition before God—without any strings attached. It does not have to pertain to food. There are other means of self-denial, e.g. forgoing some form of entertainment or spending some extra time in prayer.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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