The prevalence of obesity and obesity-related disorders is increasing worldwide. In the last decade, the gut microbiota has emerged as an important factor in the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome, through its interactions with dietary, environmental, and host genetic factors. Various studies have shown that alteration of the gut microbiota, shifting it toward increased energy harvest, is associated with an obese phenotype. However, the molecular mechanisms by which the gut microbiota affects host metabolism are still obscure. In this review, we discuss the complexity of the gut microbiota and its relationship to obesity and obesity-related diseases. Furthermore, we discuss the anti-obesity potential of probiotics and prebiotics.