To lose fat you have to create a calorie deficiency. You can either cut your calorie intake from foods with dieting. Or you create a deficit by burning more calories with exercise. In order to lose fat successfully one has to use both methods. The mistake with so many weight loss programs is that they create a deficit without exercise or very little exercise. But not using exercise is far less effective than using it.
It is much better to eat more and burn more calories with exercise. If you try to lose weight with dieting only then people often cut their calories to starvation levels. This slows down the metabolic rate and you burn less calories. But eating 5-6 smaller meals a day and exercising regularly will boost your metabolism. 95% of weight loss programs fail because of this reason. Aerobic exercise is the key to permanent fat loss.
By definition, aerobic means "with oxygen." In order to burn fat oxygen has to be present. So and activity has to be sustained for a prolonged period for the body to be able to use oxygen. Activities that are anaerobic are sugar burning.
Aerobic or cardio exercises include walking, jogging, bicycling, stair climbing, rowing, cross-country skiing and elliptical exercise. Just as long involves large muscle groups and can be sustained continuously for long periods of time (at least 20 – 30 minutes and up to as much as 60 minutes). If your goal is fat loss then you should use as much aerobic exercises as possible. Working in your garden, playing tennis or golf is anaerobic and does not burn fat that effectively. So anaerobic exercises should be second in your list after aerobic.
To burn fat as fuel then oxygen has to be present and oxygen can be present if the activity is a long duration exercise. Carbohydrates are used for activities that are short bursts like basketball. Any activity whether it uses fat or carbohydrates for fuel has an impact on fat loss. People can lose fat if they use carbohydrates for fuel as well but it is not as effective. If your goal is to get very low body fat levels then aerobic exercises that use fat for fuel are essential.