The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway is known to couple different environmental cues to the regulation of several energy-demanding functions within the cell, spanning from protein translation to mitochondrial activity. As a result, at the organism level, mTORC1 activity affects energy balance and general metabolic homoeostasis by modulating both the activity of neuronal populations that play key roles in the control of food intake and body weight, as well as by determining storage and use of fuel substrates in peripheral tissues. This review focuses on recent advances made in understanding the role of the mTORC1 pathway in the regulation of energy balance. More particularly, it aims at providing an overview of the status of knowledge regarding the mechanisms underlying the ability of certain amino acids, glucose and fatty acids, to affect mTORC1 activity and in turn illustrates how the mTORC1 pathway couples nutrient sensing to the hypothalamic regulation of the organisms’ energy homoeostasis and to the control of intracellular metabolic processes, such as glucose uptake, protein and lipid biosynthesis. The evidence reviewed pinpoints the mTORC1 pathway as an integrator of the actions of nutrients on metabolic health and provides insight into the relevance of this intracellular pathway as a potential target for the therapy of metabolic diseases such as obesity and type-2 diabetes.