Oh, thank you Lisa!
I treasure your responses and your wealth of knowledge is absolutely amazing. I'll do some research as you suggest but I know you are right, there are varying camps, it just depends on what ya read and decide to believe for yourself...
You also raise another good point about what it means to be on a healthy diet. When I started IP in Aug-2013 I didn't really think about how having 1 restricted every day would create a habit. Here I am, rebooting after the holidays and I can hardly wait for my treat of the day. Your words are making me consider whether or not to spread out my restricted snacks throughout the week. Perhaps a mini goal of mine for this week is to space the restricted snacks a couple of times.. Yes, that is something that I'd like to do. I've gotten too comfortable eating a restricted on a daily basis and I feel like I've slowed down my losses (even before falling off the wagon).
I'd like to change my perspective around and instead of treating this as a short term goal (to lose the weight) - I also need to consider that what I am doing now is creating a pattern for how I will eat in the future, when I am on maintenance. As you have mentioned in previous threads, losing the weight is easier than maintaining. I am fearful of entering maintenance b/c I don't completely trust that I can maintain - horrible, right?
Anyway, pondering your last comment - "Personally, I am much more concerned about Splenda/sucralose and aspartame than I am about Stevia. In my personal experience when I have something sweet it makes me want more sweet." Yep, I'm going to be more aware of how I feel after I eat restricted vs. non-restricted and try to cut back on the restricted snacks. You're right, in every-day-life when I am maintaining, I will not have a treat on a daily basis.
Thanks again for making me "THINK" about all of this stuff @Lisa