Accumulated evidence from genetic animal models suggests that the brain, particularly the hypothalamus, has a key role in the homeostatic regulation of energy and glucose metabolism. The brain integrates multiple metabolic inputs from the periphery through nutrients, gut-derived satiety signals and adiposity-related hormones. The brain modulates various aspects of metabolism, such as food intake, energy expenditure, insulin secretion, hepatic glucose production and glucose/fatty acid metabolism in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. Highly coordinated interactions between the brain and peripheral metabolic organs are critical for the maintenance of energy and glucose homeostasis. Defective crosstalk between the brain and peripheral organs contributes to the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Here we comprehensively review the above topics, discussing the main findings related to the role of the brain in the homeostatic regulation of energy and glucose metabolism.