The only way to lose body fat is to create a caloric deficit (burn more calories throughout the day than you consume). To do that, you either have to eat less calories throughout the day, or perform some sort of activity that will burn a substantial amount of calories. Though you've seen the infomercials with magic Ab machines, that type of activity is not efficient in burning calories and therefore not the best thing to do if you're trying to lose fat. The most effective means of weight loss is to perform cardiovascular exercise. Though it depends on your level of fitness, ideally you want to train for at least 20 minutes (40 is much more efficient, but work your way up) in your Target Training Zone. Your Target Training Zone is the intensity at which you want your cardiovascular system to work (i.e. how fast you want your heart to beat) while you're exercising. Each individual's Target Training zone is different, but you can estimate it with the following equation: (220) - (your age) = your max heart rate. Then, take 65% or your max heart rate and 85% of your max heart rate. This heart rate range, 65%-85%, is where you want to be training to burn the most efficient amount of calories and to improve your heart's condition. If you can find a way to fit in 120-180 minutes of cardiovascular exercise in your Target Training Zone, you should find yourself starting to lose body fat!
This is really good information. Sometimes it is really hard to get into your target training zone, especially when you are first starting. I think that when you are first starting up a training regiment they recommend that a goal of 35-55% is good until your fitness level improves and you can still create the caloric deficit by further reducing your intake! Thanks for the info! ~Jon~