Not all foods, calorically speaking, are created equal. The 100 calories you intake from french fries are quite different than 100 calories from an apple. This weight loss food list is not only healthy, it also fires up your metabolism and helps keep you trim.

The Inevitable Disclaimer

As much as we’d all like a magic pill or singular slimming food that melts away the extra pounds, no matter what you eat, you need to increase your protein intake (low fat, naturally, see below) and your fitness levels. Serious weight loss only happens when you burn more calories than you take in. So, while you’re swapping out chips, sugary sodas, and indulgent desserts with the list below, hit the gym at least 3-4 days per week, get plenty of sleep, and drink plenty of water for the best results.

Green Tea

Green tea has higher concentrations of polyphenols, aka catechins, than any other type of tea. Catechins, along with the caffeine in green tea, could help burn extra fat. However, to get the full benefit of their fat-fighting power, look for green tea extract tablets.

Dark Chocolate

The science is in: chocolate is a healthy food. At least, the darker varieties are. The flavonoids in dark chocolate are also found in dark leafy green vegetables. Those all-important nutrients are wonderful at staving off heart disease and can help reduce spikes in blood sugar, the very thing that makes you feel like snacking. The less processed the chocolate, the more fiber it has as well. Also: when you’re trying to lose weight, is there anything better than chocolate?

Coffee

While too much caffeine could cause some unfortunate side effects like anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, a cup or two in the morning aids in fat burning (the science is out on just how effective it is) and helps suppress your appetite. So, if midmorning snacking is your thing, drink a cup of black coffee or use non-sugar sweeteners along with a healthy breakfast to keep you ready for a lunch full of healthy diet foods.

Legumes

Fiber is your true friend for trimming inches, and so legumes are a no-brainer when it comes to weight loss foods. One cup of black beans has roughly 15 grams of fiber, over half of the recommended daily intake. Fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer, sweeps toxins from your tummy (think of dietary fiber as a giant sponge), and reduces inflammation. Beans are also high in protein and have no naturally occurring fat, so they make a pretty fantastic main course.

Tree Nuts

Tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios have anywhere from 4 to 6 grams of protein per tablespoon. They are also high in fiber so carrying them around in a purse or backpack is an awesome alternative to high-calorie snacking. Make sure to measure your portions because they do have a lot of fat. Eaten in moderation, however, tree nuts are a very healthy food.

Low-Fat Protein

Your muscles love, and need, protein sources to stay dense. Muscle density is increasingly important as we age and, the higher it is, the more efficient your body burns fat calories. So, learn to love skinless chicken breasts and turkey slices. Adding whey protein to a smoothie gives you a huge dose of low-fat protein.

Apples

Apples are legendary for keeping the doctor away, but there’s something more important that they help keep at bay: hunger. They are high in fiber, so eating one helps balance your blood sugar and keeps you feeling sated. Apples are also high in a very special type of fiber, pectin, that takes your stomach even longer to process. So, keep a stash at work, in your bag, and at home for regular, guilt-free snacking intervals.

Tempeh

Pronounced tem-pay, these fermented soybeans look a little bit like feta cheese when you start to cut it up. Tempeh is relatively unknown to the American palate, but it is a very smart choice for a slimming food. There are about 9 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving and a whopping 9 grams of fiber. Experiment using it instead of meat to cut down on cholesterol.

Greek Yogurt

Low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt (18 grams per 6-ounce serving), tastes creamier and has the same texture as sour cream. Try it out for breakfast, use it in your smoothies or plop some on top of a roasted yam.

Fish

When it comes to healthy food, the medical and scientific communities are in agreement when it comes to fish. High in fat-balancing Omega 3 oils, it is an excellent source of slimming protein as well. You will have to remove the skin, but start experimenting with salmon, swordfish, and tuna in place of red meat.

Healthy food should be yummy and satisfying. When you’re working on dropping some extra weight, replace the bad stuff (white sugar, processed foods, and fast food) with these suggestions. Before you know it, you’ll be dancing the night away in those skinny pants again.