How Long Does It Take to Lose Belly Fat on the Pilates Ball?

A Pilates ball, also called a stability ball or Swiss ball, contributes to a variety of calisthenic workouts by allowing you to put your body in positions that isolate certain muscle groups. For many people, adding the ball can make the workout more stimulating or challenging and easier to want to do. How long it will take to shed belly fat with a Pilates ball workout depends on a variety of factors.

Losing Weight With a Pilates Ball
Losing weight with a Pilates ball works the same way as losing weight with any other form of exercise. The Pilates ball workout burns extra calories, increasing how many calories you burn over the course of the day. If that number increases to the point that it exceeds the number of calories you take in through eating, you will shed fat and lose weight. Unfortunately, no kind of exercise will allow you to specifically target your belly as the place from which you shed fat. You will lose weight from your body as a whole, which will include some fat loss from your belly.

Different Workouts, Different Calories
Pilates balls can assist in a wide spectrum of exercises, ranging from sitting on the ball instead of a chair to intense aerobics that include the ball. For example, sitting on the ball while doing desk work will burn about 112 calories from a 135-pound person, according to the National Institutes of Health. The same person doing vigorous calisthenics using the Pilates ball will burn about 470 calories per hour or about 420 doing high-impact aerobics.

Belly Fat Timeline
A pound of fat represents approximately 3,500 calories. A 135-pound person can lose 1 pound of fat by doing 31.25 hours of desk work sitting on a Pilates ball, 7.5 hours of vigorous calisthenics using the ball or 8.3 hours of high-impact aerobics. The actual fat burn is best viewed as an estimate instead of an exact number, because there is no way to predict what part of your body the fat will come off of. How much you eat will also affect your timeline, since changes to your diet alter how many calories you take in. Rewarding yourself for burning 200 extra calories by eating a 300-calorie treat will cause you to gain weight.

Ab Exercises
Incorporate abdominal exercises into your Pilates ball routine by performing crunches with your lower back on the curve of the ball instead of on the floor or pushups with your feet on the ball and hands on the ground. Both of these exercises engage your core muscles to hold the ball steady and maintain your balance, giving your abs a workout you wouldn't get by performing the same routine on level ground. These exercises won't accelerate the fat loss from your belly, but they will tighten the muscles in your abdomen creating the appearance of a toned tummy. They will also give you a tighter set of abs for your belly fat loss to ultimately reveal.

Expert Insight
Fitness author and personal trainer Bill Phillips says that asking how long it will take to lose fat from a specific body part is the wrong way to look at weight loss, because it sets unrealistic expectations. Instead, he recommends committing to a course of exercise -- which can be a set of Pilates ball routines -- combined with diet. If you focus on committing to the workouts and diet instead of the week-by-week results, then the fat will come off. If you focus on the short-term results, you are likely to become frustrated and give up before you see the benefits.