Cardio exercise such as running on a treadmill or cycling is known to aid weight loss. However the intensity and duration of cardio exercise is a hot topic among fitness enthusiasts and trainers. Some trainers believe that to maximise fat loss during training, long session of cardio training at a relatively low intensity are necessary because burning fat stops at higher exercise intensities. Relatively speaking they are right, the body has an easier time burning fat at lower intensities, and at high intensities it can stop burning fat altogether. It might therefore seem that this is the best way to achieve fat loss. However research has shown that despite the sometimes minimal amount of fat burned during higher intensity exercise, it is more effective than low or moderate intensity exercise. Especially high intensity interval exercise is very effective in reducing fat mass. In addition, it requires less time than continuous lower intensity training and it results in larger increases in endurance.
It is true that resistance or strength training often increase your weight because of an increase in muscle mass. However, resistance exercise can play a very important role in achieving your goal of fat loss for multiple reasons.
First, muscles require energy during training and rest. This is only logical, the more muscle mass someone has, the more muscle mass can be active during training and burn energy. Secondly, muscle tissue requires energy during rest as well, increasing daily energy expenditure, again making it easier to burn fat. Thirdly performing resistance exercise when on a light calorie restricted diet, maintains muscle mass and daily energy expenditure, making it easier to maintain fat loss and preventing the yo-yo effect. Finally resistance exercise, especially when performing exercises which train a large number of muscles at the same time require a significant amount of energy during training and recovery, again making fat loss easier.
Note that while it certainly can’t hurt to perform abdominal exercises to strengthen the core, the fat will not disappear from your belly by doing these exercises a lot.
Unfortunately it is not possible to control the location of fat loss by any means.