Cambridge.org says "a heavy meal = a large meal" and "a light meal = a small meal".
Is this really so?

the definition of "light meal" from collinsdictionary.com:
"A light meal consists of a small amount of food, or of food that is easy to digest."

the definition of "heavy meal" from collinsdictionary.com:
"A heavy meal is large in amount and often difficult to digest."


1 Answer 1


"Heavy" with regards to food doesn't mean the same as "large". A large salad, for example, might be considered a light meal - light on calories, light on the digestive system.

We tend to use "heavy meal" to describe carbohydrate-heavy meals that lay heavily on the stomach and make you feel full because they absorb and retain water, or foods which can take longer to digest such as red meats (although please bear in mind I'm not a nutritionist and I'm leaning on widely-held beliefs about food, not any special scientific insight into them).

I think the general understanding is that you can make a 'heavy' meal lighter by reducing the portion size, and a 'light' meal more filling by increasing the portion size - still, the size and density of a meal are different things, and a meal does not need to be larger than usual in portion size to be considered "heavy".

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