Lipid metabolism is fundamental to life. In insects, it is critical, during reproduction, flight, starvation, and diapause. The coordination center for insect lipid metabolism is the fat body, which is analogous to the vertebrate adipose tissue and liver. Fat body contains various different cell types; however, adipocytes and oenocytes are the primary cells related to lipid metabolism. Lipid metabolism starts with the hydrolysis of dietary lipids, absorption of lipid monomers, followed by lipid transport from midgut to the fat body, lipogenesis or lipolysis in the fat body, and lipid transport from fat body to other sites demanding energy. Lipid metabolism is under the control of hormones, transcription factors, secondary messengers and posttranscriptional modifications. Primarily, lipogenesis is under the control of insulin-like peptides that activate lipogenic transcription factors, such as sterol regulatory element-binding proteins, whereas lipolysis is coordinated by the adipokinetic hormone that activates lipolytic transcription factors, such as forkhead box class O and cAMP-response element-binding protein. Calcium is the primary-secondary messenger affecting lipid metabolism and has different outcomes depending on the site of lipogenesis or lipolysis. Phosphorylation is central to lipid metabolism and multiple phosphorylases are involved in lipid accumulation or hydrolysis. Although most of the knowledge of insect lipid metabolism comes from the studies on the model Drosophila; other insects, in particular those with obligatory or facultative diapause, also have great potential to study lipid metabolism. The use of these models would significantly improve our knowledge of insect lipid metabolism.