There are several things that suggest the answer to your question is "the more often the better" and that your reaction to mow less frequently because of the yellowing you see after is the opposite to what you want for a green lawn.
First of all, we all know that for a lawn to be green it must be growing. Grass pales and turns yellow over time unless it is growing.
Second, the key factor to keeping a growing lawn healthy is mowing it according to its growth.
Therefore, if you get it growing quickly (fertilizer, lots of rain, etc.) then you simply need to be mowing more often.
The faster the growing, the more mowing is needed, but the greener the lawn.
As MichaelF pointed out in the comments, most advice for a healthy lawn says to follow the one-third rule: Never cut more than one-third of the height:
If your grass is growing, you’ll be mowing. Each grass type looks best and stays healthiest at a certain height. Use your mower to maintain that height as closely as possible. Cutting your lawn too short can be just as damaging as letting it grow too tall. The basic rule of mowing is to never cut more than one-third of the leaf blade. Generally, this means mowing about once a week.
In other words, it's true that mowing can be unhealthy for the lawn, especially if the lawn was cut too short within too short of a time period. In other words, you want to be consistent about mowing, and if you get it too long, you should only cut off 1/3 the next mowing and then gradually reduce the height (as JSBangs posted).
Another factor in this equation is the optimal height for your type of lawn. Mowing for Dummies has a good table for this (and also echoes the one-third rule).
So, when you decide to mow less frequently because of the yellowing you see, you are actually perpetuating the problem. Grass is greenest at the top of the blade, and when you let that grow longer than it should, you cut off the healthiest part. In other words, it's not the act of mowing that hurts it, it's cutting too much of the blades. Mowing the next day shouldn't hurt at all -- as long as the blade is sharp!
There are a few other reasons that mowing as often as possible is the healthiest for your lawn:
- Ever seen a golf course's lawn? They do use different types of grass than most residences, but the mowers are usually out every day. They cut a tiny bit at a time, and the grass always stays healthy. (Of course they are growing it quickly with lots of fertilizer and watering.)
- Mulching is well known as a means to help improve the health of your lawn. The point of mulching is to turn what you clip into tiny shreds that simply fall back into the lawn. Many lawn mowers can do basic mulching if you remove the bag and apply a mulching blade. Cutting more often gives you a higher chance of returning small pieces to your lawn, instead of long pieces which may not be good for your lawn.
- I'm still looking for the reference, but I once read that "the secret" to a healthy lawn is "mowing twice a week".
- Another piece of advice I received from a lawn care center was "Mulch twice, bag once". You won't want to be mulching long grass (as above) so you'll need to be mowing often to follow that schedule.