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Bodymind Yo-Yo


I’m sure you’ve heard about “yo-yo dieting” – the body changes (changes in weight) as a result of dieting and going off the diet.  This post is about something slightly different.  For years I’ve used the concept of “bodymind yo-yo.” Let me explain what I mean.

You see, we are not just what we eat; we are also how we eat. If we eat mindlessly, to the extent to which mindless eating leads to overeating, our bodies expand and our minds shrink—experientially, of course, not literally. When we eat mindlessly, we miss out on the experience of that eating moment of life as it passes by.

If, however, we eat mindfully, to the extent to which mindful eating curbs overeating and assists weight loss, our bodies shrink and our minds expand. We don’t go up a hat size, but our conscious event horizon widens and our view becomes more spacious and inclusive. We grow existentially and feel enriched experientially.

In sum, when we eat mindlessly, body grows, mind shrinks.  When we eat mindfully, body shrinks, mind expands.  And this is what I call “bodymind yo-yo.”  So, the question then is: which way is your bodymind moving?


Adapted from Reinvening the Meal: How Mindfulness Can Help You Slow Down, Savor the Moment and Reconnect with the Ritual of Eating (Pavel Somov, 2012). Pavel Somov is also the author of Eating the Moment (New Harbinger, 2008).

Bodymind Yo-Yo

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is and his practice website is

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).

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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2013). Bodymind Yo-Yo. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 10, 2019, from


Last updated: 1 Sep 2013
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