Spices in Indian cookery and herbal tea could help fight the weight gain, according to scientists in Maastricht University in Holland. The results of the study were published in the medical journal Physiology and Behaviour.
Their study revealed that common ingredients in curries and black or green herb teas encourage burning of fat in the body.
The best results were obtained with combinations of black pepper, turmeric, ginger, cumin, red chilli, coriander and onion gave the best results.
The Dutch researchers added that the spices helped to make the consumer feel full quicker and so eat less.
The spices also helped people to digest their food better.
However the publishers of the journal added: Anyone thinking of fighting the flab with a diet of green tea and curry alone may be disappointed, so don't go cancelling the gym membership just yet.