When trying to reduce those kilos, most of us immediately cut down on much-loved treats such as chocolate, cheese and wine.
There is no need to remove these indulgences from the diet says a top scientist, as they can help us develop more 'good' bacteria in our guts - which in turn will help us stay thin.
Speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival over the weekend, Professor Tim Spector, of King's College London, says that the best secret to successfully dieting is to consume a wide range of foods.
"We ingest these microbes and they end up in our gut, where they diversify with the new foods we introduce over the years. The more diverse foods we eat, the more varieties of microbes in our bodies, which make us healthier," reported The Mail.
Professor Spector said that wine, cheese and chocolate were all good at encouraging healthy gut bacteria, but that fatty, sugary junk food can wipe out healthy gut flora.
He has previously mentioned his belief that, “changes” in our gut microbe community, or micro biome, are likely to be accountable for much of our obesity epidemic.
The human gut consists of around 3,500 difference microbial species. However, increased consumption of processed foods – including the over-use of antibiotics - means that humans' diversity of microbes are actually decreasing.
“Fifteen thousand years ago our ancestors regularly ingested around 150 ingredients in a week," he said last year.
“Most people nowadays consume fewer than 20 separate food types and many, if not most, are artificially refined.
“Most processed food products come, depressingly, from just four ingredients: corn, soy, wheat or meat”.