Many dietary factors or substances exert effects on the three components of energy balance, and one strategy for tackling weight gain could be to use the inherent properties of these substances. Here, we will review the evidence regarding nutritional factors with a potential impact on energy balance, such as wholegrain foods, dietary fiber and protein content, calcium, and certain spices. There is ample evidence to suggest that dietary protein, wholegrain, and fiber promote satiety and either reduce energy absorption or stimulate energy expenditure. Dietary calcium reduces fat absorption, and a sufficient intake may also prevent excessive hunger during weight loss diets. Chili and mustard have beneficial effects on energy balance, although the quantitative importance of this may be modest. Manipulation of diet composition with an aim to prevent weight gain and weight regain is a promising avenue of research.