These nine foods will bring you closer to your goals and also contain many beneficial nutrients and disease-fighting properties.
Hot Peppers1 of 10
The hotter, the better. Thermogenesis is a process by which the body releases calories in the form of heat. Sprinkle your food with a little capsaicin (hot pepper) and thermogenesis will start.
After consuming your meal and while your body is working overtime to release calories via heat, you can expect your calorie-burning rate to reach 10 percent above your normal rate. That extra 10 percent is equivalent to about 125 calories extra burned per meal.
Goji Berries2 of 10
These chewy, tart berries have a hunger-curbing edge over other fruit, thanks to 18 amino acids, which make them a surprising source of protein. Snack on them mid-afternoon to stay satisfied until dinner. The calorie cost? Only 35 per tablespoon.
Apple Cider Vinegar3 of 10
Apple cider vinegar offers a three-pronged approach to burning fat and losing weight.
Drinking a glass of water with one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar around an hour before a meal will help to curb appetite. The vinegar's high potassium content also flushes sodium from the body, which in turn helps get rid of bloating. And lastly, it also contains iron-absorbing acetic acid. A high quantity of iron results in a high oxygen utilization, which stimulates the metabolic rate.
Mustard4 of 10
It's best to lay off all condiments if you can, but when in doubt, mustard is your healthiest option. There is no added sugar, and the mustard seed itself is a powerful source of antioxidants. Turmeric (an ingredient in mustard) has been researched as a powerful cancer and Alzheimer-fighting agent.
Fiber-Filled Foods5 of 10
Fiber boosts satiety. Since it passes through the body undigested, fiber slows the absorption of nutrients and makes you feel fuller longer, according to a 2008 study by researchers at the University of Minnesota.
A 2009 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that adding 6 grams of soluble fiber (such as ground flaxseed) to yogurt provided the satiating power of an additional 260 calories. To reap the satiating benefits of fiber, aim for 25 to 35 grams daily.
Fruit6 of 10
Lean people, on average, have one more serving of fruit and eat more fiber and less fat per day than overweight people, reports a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Get your fruit in, and your body will thank you.
Calcium7 of 10
Calcium is a mineral that works in tandem with vitamin D to help you shed fat. Since calcium is stored in fat cells, researchers think that the more calcium a fat cell has, the more fat that cell will release to be burned.
It also promotes weight loss by binding to fat in your GI tract, preventing some of it from getting absorbed into your bloodstream.
Green Tea8 of 10
Green tea is the ultimate weight loss beverage as it raises the metabolism by speeding up the rate at which fat is oxidized or "burned" in the cells. Added bonuses: Green tea is also rich in antioxidants, promotes heart health, aids digestion and can even help regulate blood sugar.
Green tea even contains a natural relaxant, so it won't make you as jittery as coffee.
Protein9 of 10
High-protein foods take more work to digest, metabolize and use, which means you burn more calories processing them. In a study published in Nutrition Metabolism, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost 11 pounds over the 12-week study without employing other dietary measures.