I have been looking into thermogenic foods recently. I think
(?) this is the same type of concept you are talking about, just called a different name. These are foods that take more energy for the body to burn, as opposed to other foods. All foods are in essence "thermogenic" in that energy is burned to digest and process them. But some foods increase the rate at which the body burns stored fat to create energy. This gives your metabolism a little boost. These foods that have a higher thermic effect are the ones many call thermogenic or fat burning foods. Here is a link listing some thermogenic foods:
However, this shouldn't be treated as a main focus for your diet - it is just one of many tools for your weight loss arsenal. Trainers like Tom Venuto help to put these foods in perspective:
I have started tossing jalapeno peppers on things the past few days just for kicks and I like many of the foods that are thermogenic, so I am trying to add more of these foods into my overall plan.