The 2468 diet is often touted as a way to lose weight in a hurry. But it's an unhealthy choice that is not only dangerous but unrealistic for most people. Supported by pro-anorexic sites, the 2468 diet involves eating 200 calories one day, 400 the next, 600 the next, 800 then repeating the process until you reach your desired weight. Since experts recommend 1200 calories a day, every part of the diet is dangerous. It may cause weight loss, but most likely will put the weight right back on.

If you'd like to get a jump on losing weight, try an approach that's similar to the 2468 diet, but healthier and easier to follow. First, monitor what you eat each day. Write down everything you eat for a period of several days to several weeks. Figure out what your average calorie intake is, then work backwards until you reach a calorie level that is considered safe and effective for losing weight - generally 1200 calories or so. Cut down your calorie intake by 50 calories at first, then 100. Gradually decrease the daily or weekly calorie goal until you are eating the recommended calories for your body and weight loss goals.

Since you are in control of your personalized diet plan, you may find this approach a little more flexible and fun than following a rigid diet. As your calorie intake is reduced, you can experiment with cutting back on fat and carbohydrates, too.

Cutting back on calories will also involve replacing some food with healthier choices that are lower in calories and thus allow you to eat more. A big fast food burger, for example, may be the equivalent of a whole day's healthier meal choices. Once you get on track with your personalized diet plan, you'll be excited about finding ways to cut down while feeling full and satisfied.

Be sure to check with your doctor before starting or changing your diet, especially if you have other health conditions. Don't go below the recommended calorie intake for your body and activities. Remember to include healthy food choices and get your recommended servings from each food group. Increase your water consumption and exercise levels to see results even faster.