How many commercials have you seen sell pills that promise to shrink your waistline? How many “slim” drinks or “low-fat” snack options have you stumbled upon that claim to work like a fat burner in a box? Those products may seem to work at first, but the results don’t last if your diet doesn’t change. Any good doctor will tell you that when it comes to weight management, “calories in vs. calories out” is the key. Thus, eating the right foods with healthy calories is a huge part of that equation.

I’m a firm believer that if you aren’t set in your nutritional foundation, and if you rely on quick fixes and fad diets, then you’ll never lose the weight and actually keep it off.

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I’m not a fan of fake promises, and I’m definitely not a fan of pumping my body with drugs for weight loss. If you’ve used weight loss “miracle” products, I challenge you to throw them away and use food and good old fashion exercise as the key instead. By eating these foods, your body will love you and the weight will come off. Here are five foods to aid your weight loss:

1. Red chili or cayenne peppers

To lose weight, try adding spice. In particular, red chili and cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, which is known to help speed up metabolism and, in turn, aid weight loss. In one study conducted in the 1990s in Japan, people who ingested about 10 grams of cayenne pepper with their meals experienced reduced appetite.

2. Lentils

Lentils are the whole package. Low in fat and calories, yet high in fiber and protein, these little legumes will keep you full without packing on the pounds. Vegetarians in India rely on lentils for sustaining protein. One cup of lentils contains about 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein, a combo that helps keep both your hunger and your weight down. Try eating masoor dal, a Northern Indian lentil dish.

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3. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are incredibly healthy. Aside from containing good-for-you minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus, the seeds are high in zinc. Consuming high amounts of zinc can help improve cognitive function and aid in weight loss. Try roasting them in the oven at 160-170 degrees for 15-20 minutes for a healthy snack.

4. Grapefruit

Grapefruit has long been touted as a weight loss food, and for good reason. A 2006 study found that eating grapefruit with meals can help you melt away the pounds. The 12-week study of 100 obese people found that consuming one-half grapefruit before meals resulted in an average weight loss of 3.6 pounds. Some participants lost up to 10 pounds.

5.  Almonds

There are good and bad fats. Almonds make the “good” cut. They’re high in fat, but when eaten in moderation, they can help maintain a healthy weight and aid in weight loss. A ¼ cup serving of almonds contains 205 calories and 18 grams of fat. Of those fat calories, 16.5 are of the healthy, unsaturated kind. Now that it’s wintertime, healthy fats are especially useful in keeping us warm and full.

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Image Source: Curried Lentil Soup