Whether you are looking to tone your body or burn fat, being physically active several days a week is vital. Activities such as weightlifting, playing soccer and walking to the grocery store use energy, which will help you burn fat. According to the American Council on Exercise, you cannot spot-reduce fat. To lose fat on your belly and arms, reduce your overall body-fat percentage.
Decrease your caloric intake to lose weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that people have more success losing weight gradually compared to starvation diets. Reduce your calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories daily to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. Choose whole-food ingredients to prepare your meals and avoid baked goods, sugary snacks and instant meals.
Perform aerobic exercises to burn fat. The CDC recommends that you get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorously intense cardio. Brisk walking or cycling on an even plane is a form of moderate-intensity cardio. More intense physical exertion such as playing basketball or cycling uphill is a form of vigorous aerobic exercise.
Do strength-training exercises to build muscles. Building muscles will improve your resting metabolic rate, which is the rate at which you burn fat while you are resting. Perform strength-training sessions two to three times a week. Weightlifting exercises such as bicep curls, squats, bench presses and weighted crunches can help you build lean muscle mass. Aim to perform eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise in two or three sets.
Monitor your caloric intake and expenditure. Estimate and monitor the amount of calories you consume and how much you burn through exercise. Sign up with an online calorie counter and enter your details where required. Compute the calories you consume and enter the exercises you perform, the equipment and duration. Use the online calorie counter to take weekly calorie reports to see if you are losing or gaining weight.
Sculpt your arms with weight-lifting exercises. Engage your biceps with bicep or incline dumbbell curls. For your triceps, perform cable pushdowns or triceps pushups. While these exercises won't burn fat, they help sculpt your arms and improve your strength and appearance. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions and three to five sets or until your muscles fatigue.
Develop strong abdominals and obliques with twisting crunches. Your obliques are at the sides of your abdomen. The rectus abdominis -- at the center of your stomach -- can be strengthened with crunches on an exercise ball. Aim for 15 repetitions for each exercise and two or three sets or until you can't go any more. With fat loss, you could develop a V-shaped stomach by performing these workouts two or three times a week.