Can you use natural sweeteners such as stevia in the ignite and balance phase of the program?
As far as I know having Stevia as an ingredients in foods is ok because it isn't an artificial sweetener. The Dailyburn protein powder has stevia in it as well as other protein powders. During the Ignite phase you're not supposed to add any sweeteners (even natural) to your food or drinks like coffee, etc.
It seems like a really tricky issue, actually. DailyBurn gives two main reasons for avoiding artificial sweeteners: (1) they may have harmful medical effects and (2) they train your body to crave sweetness. Stevia doesn't have problematic medical effects as far as we know, but I don't see why it would not cause sweetness cravings like more traditional artificial sweeteners and sugar. Maybe the cravings are not as problematic because Stevia's sweetness is not as concentrated as Sucralose, aspartame, etc.? In any case, DailyBurn posted an incredible exhaustive list of ingredients that fit into the Evil 6 (see: http://dailyburn.com/articles...) -- Stevia is not listed as "sugar" or as an "artificial sweetener." So from a strict reading, I think we can presume that DailyBurn's official position is that Stevia is okay. But if you're worried about the rationales behind avoiding artificial sweeteners (i.e. sweetness cravings), you may want to limit your consumption of it anyway? I am starting Ignite so I did some research on the issue earlier today. I'll just be treating Stevia as a crutch to help me stay on the straight and narrow as I give up my beloved artificial sweeteners.
DISCLAIMER: This Daily Burn Community is a user forum for discussion purposes only and is not a medical resource. Any content or advice contained herein, should not be substituted for that of your medical professional or for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical help.