Ordering a cup of Coke alongside your weekly cheat meal may seem harmless, but you may want to rethink your thirst quencher of choice if you’re looking to maintain your weight.
While you’d likely guess that consuming one serving of soda a day would contribute to weight gain over time, would you have made the same assumption about crushing just one measly can a week? Because that’s exactly the result Harvard researchers found in an enlightening new study.
For two years, researchers tracked and analyzed how much soda (both the regular and diet varieties) 11,218 Mexican women consumed and how it affected their weight and waist circumference.
The findings revealed that participants who nixed just one can a week from their diet gained nearly a pound less than the those who made no changes to their bubbly beverage consumption.
The American Journal of Public Health study also found that women who increased their soda intake by one serving per week noticed a 0.66-pound increase on their scales compared to women who made no changes to their carbonated beverage intake.
And when it came to the women who drank a can of the sugar-sweetened stuff daily? The study showed that their weight hiked up an average of 2.2 pounds—in addition to adding width to their waist—compared to their peers.
Since the eye-opening study only looked at soda intake, without considering other dietary and fitness factors, it’s pretty clear that throwing back a Coke even once in a blue moon isn’t doing wonders for your waistline. Next time you’re in need of a bubbly pick-me-up, grab one of these refreshing 12 Sodas That Are Actually Healthy.