Whether you want to lose weight, burn fat, or build muscle, protein is your diet’s essential building block. Numerous studies, including one recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have shown that skipping high-protein foods may lead to overeating and is often one of the biggest causes of excess weight gain. (Read more on the power of protein here)

If you make the right choices throughout the day, you can easily hit your protein targets. To get started, try these high-protein choices for healthy snacking.

Yogurt – Greek yogurt, which is strained to remove whey, is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt and is great for a healthy snack. I love it mixed with fruit, nuts, chocolate, oats – just about anything. I even use it in dips where the recipe calls for sour cream.

Cottage Cheese – This is a staple in my refrigerator as it makes an excellent high protein snack which helps me stay fuller longer. My favorite way to eat cottage cheese is with pepper or LCM Ranch Seasoning. It’s not only quick and easy it’s delicious. If I have more time, I’ll slice up some tomaotes or other fruit. Both ways are very satisfying and can tie me over for hours.

Protein Shakes – Melissa Dobbins, RD, a dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommends adding whey protein to your blender because it’s a high-quality, complete protein. This means it contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build and maintain muscle, and it provides a feeling of fullness, she adds.

Although I usually have a protein shake for a meal, I have been known to sneak it in as a snack if I’m really hungry. I mix up my own blend using LCM protein and add Greek Yogurt, peanut butter, chia seeds, etc. or have it alone mixed with coconut milk. And with 10 servings of fruits and vegetables included in the powder, you just can‘t go wrong.

Nuts – raw nuts are a healthy high-protein snack and are high in fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer. I often eat a handful in the afternoon which keeps me satisfied until dinner. Remember that though nuts are high in fat, it’s healthy monounsaturated fat, which doesn’t clog arteries and is an essential part of a healthy diet.

Eggs – Eggs are not just for breakfast – they make a great snack and are a great source of protein. (Read More on the benefits of eggs) One of the best ways to eat eggs is hard-boiled. Keep a bowl of them in your home fridge for an instant healthy snack or mix up a batch of deviled eggs for quick snacking