The guidelines have shown that steady long duration of cardio exercise burns body fat. Yes, theoretically that is correct. You do X amount of cardio and burns X amount of fat.
Then why haven't you been able to shape your body to look beach ready with all the hours of pounding at the pavement or wearing out the gears on elliptical?
There are three factors that need to come into play to rid the unwanted body fat. One and first most is muscle building. Unless you are genetically blessed you will not "bulk up" from muscle building. I have had a lot of clients, mostly female, who have been scared to gain muscle because they fear they will look bulky. This is not the case. Adding pounds of muscle will not only give your body "shape" it will increase your metabolism and you will burn even more calories daily. Your lean muscles burn more calories than fat. Second, slow and steady wins the race, not necessarily to fighting the stubborn fat areas that always seem to be an issue. Interval training is an excellent way to attack that.
Interval training is combination of accelerating your heart rate while working your muscles with short rests in between each interval. In that process you are breaking down the muscles and burning fat at the same time. Example: intense, give it your all, I think I might die effort for 1-2min then rest and recover for 30sec to 1min, repeat. These sessions last between 20min to 60min. Most movements are typically using your body weight for resistance.
Third is nutrition. When you are "working out" u are breaking down your muscles. You haven't made any gain in muscle building if you haven't replenished what you have used for energy. Your post workout meal (what u eat after u workout) is critical to your workout and to your body development. This should be done within 30min after the workout. Shakes or easy to digest meals are the best because it is quickly absorbed into your system and THEN your muscles begin to repair themselves. This is when you make your muscle gains. With the three combined... you are muscle building, burning fat, increasing your metabolism, and developing a fit