How Hansika Silva Became a Fitness Favorite
At only 20 years old, nutrition specialist and fitness expert Hansika Silva has quite a few accolades to her name. She’s amassed almost 50K Instagram followers, won several fitness competitions and coaches others on her website Eat.Life.Grow. She initially became interested in fitness after a bout of extremely calorie-restricted eating and borderline obsession with cardio made her look and feel deprived. She decided to make a change and got into fitness the right way. Now with her platform she encourages other people to live a healthy lifestyle. We spoke to her about her favorite ways to train and why looking good does not mean starving yourself.
What was the turning point for you that made you become interested in fitness?
Hansika Silva: A few years ago, I was noticing that I was starting to gain weight and I had always been the skinny girl that could eat whatever. I decided to start going to the gym, and like many women out there I thought that the key was restricting my calorie intake and doing a lot of cardio. I was only eating 800-900 calories per day, basically starving myself so my body started to shut down. My doctor told me that if I kept doing this I wouldn’t be able to have kids when I am older. I realized that I needed to do this the right way and started researching. I started eating more and lifting heavier weights, and slowly started getting the body form I liked. I saw a transformation and realized that you can have the body type you want. As the next step I decided to compete. I hired a coach and trained from January through April — you have a strict diet and training plan. It was my first time and I won both my classes.
How do you start your day?
I wake up around seven or eight, do my routine (brush my teeth and washing my face) and then get ready for the day. After I’ll eat breakfast and watch videos about mental health on YouTube. I listen to Sadhguru, Tony Robbins, and Gary Vee. I try to spend at least five to ten minutes meditating. Then I head straight to the gym — that’s what gets my day started, it helps me feel productive.
What are your favorite moves at the gym?
I love doing legs – squatting, dead lifts, hip thrusts. Anything for the booty or growing my legs.
What are some of your favorite tips to stay in shape?
There’s really no secret, it’s just staying consistent. My goal right now is to build muscle so I need to focus on nutrition, eating the right stuff, and fueling my body so that I can gain muscle.
Who are your fitness and beauty icons?
Number one for me is Nikki Blackketter, she’s someone who saved my life. I didn’t know about flexible dieting, I didn’t know you can eat things like pancakes, French toast and pasta and still achieve the body that you want. It’s all about calories in versus calories out and that’s what she taught me. Another person is Katie Hearn, who is absolutely stunning, she’s got an amazing body. I love Amanda Bucci and Emily Hayden — I’m into people overall who want to improve their lifestyle.
On Instagram I am always looking for…
I love seeing people who are working towards their body goals. Not just that, but people that are trying to excel as a person. They’re trying to succeed financially, mentally, spiritually and physically.
People would be surprised to find out that I…
I was a vegetarian for five years but eventually I couldn’t resist the appeal of a beef jerky so I became a meat-eater again. Recently, however, I have been following a more plant-based diet. I want to show people that you don’t have to eat chicken every day, there’s other ways to get protein and meat is not the only answer.
As a woman of color I look forward to…
I’m Sri Lankan and I would like to show that in the brown community, we can make it. It’s not just about blonde, blue-eyed girls that can make it in the fitness industry. If you put your heart into it anything is possible. Women of color can do whatever they want, and we’re not limited in opportunities based on our color. I really believe that the energy you put out finds its way back to you.