Robert Timms shares his philosophy on whether or not pro bodybuilders can afford cheat meals.

In pro bodybuilding, genetics can have a large role in the success of an athlete. Hard work and dedication always reign supreme – but genetics will affect how far that hard work takes you. For example, every individual body reacts differently to food. Some can get away with eating “dirty” food more often. Some can’t afford it at all. Robert Timms is a genetically gifted pro bodybuilder. He has consistently gotten away with only 3 hours of sleep without adverse effects (so far).

So do those blessed genetics also afford him a cheat meal every so often? Robert Timms doesn’t even allow himself to risk it. Even with blessed genetics, he wants to be the best of the best – so why possibly set himself back with dirty foods? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Robert Timms explains his philosophy behind cheat meals and why he avoids them at all costs.

There are two prevailing schools of thought when it comes to cheat meals in diets. One is that you avoid them at all times and focus on clean healthy foods. The other is to allow a limited amount of cheat meals. The idea behind the latter is that allowing the occasional cheat meal psychologically satisfies your cravings and makes you less likely to fall off your diet completely. We all have human desires for tasty food. To deny them completely would lead to an eventual crash from a person’s healthy eating habits.

During our conversation with Robert Timms, we asked him his thoughts on cheat meals. It’s been well established that Timms has impressive genes. So it’s likely he can afford the occasional cheat meal without issue. While that might be true, Timms refuses to risk it. He avoids all forms of dirty food 24/7. His reasoning, is that if he loses a show he will instantly think back to the cheat meal he treated to himself. Whether it was the real reason or not – his mind would shame him and blame the cheat meal for his loss.

Robert Timms also doesn’t see the reason to take that risk with cheat meals. With blessed genetics, he can use hard work and consistent dedication to be the best of the best. Meaning he wants to be the best of the other athletes with impressive genetics. If other bodybuilders sometimes cheat but he doesn’t – then he has an advantage.

“If I just go with just my genetics and then just eat whatever I want, yeah sure I would still be lean. But why not be the best I can be by keeping it clean.”

– Robert Timms

On top of this, Robert Timms also has seemingly trained himself out of desiring cheat meals through consistent and healthy eating habits. According to him, he does’t want or desire dirty foods anymore. It’s no longer a temptation for him. He mentions this in an anecdote from a conversation he had with his coach:

“I know the other athletes he is working with that need that for their mental clarity. Right? They need that. They need that burger because it’s been so long. No, I don’t need it… because I always look at the goal. The goal isn’t to feel better. The goal is to look the best you can on stage.”

Robert Timms understands that our desires when it comes to food is mostly self taught. Some of us build such a strong relationship to tasty food – that we need cheat meals to give us little gifts and avoid crashing completely. For Timms, he instead chose to go cold turkey and eventually retrain his brain to not desire dirty food or cheat meals. His desire to be the best helped him stick to this plan and eventually lose the “need” for cheat meals.

You can watch Robert Timms go into full detail about his diet and his thoughts on cheat meals in bodybuilding by watching our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.