All treatments for obesity, including dietary restriction of carbohydrates, have a goal of reducing the storage of fat in adipocytes. The chief enzyme responsible for the mobilization of FFA from adipose tissue, i.e., lipolysis, is thought to be hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). Studies of HSL knockouts have provided important insights into the functional significance of HSL and into adipose metabolism in general. Studies have provided evidence that HSL, though possessing triacylglycerol lipase activity, appears to be the rate-limiting enzyme for cholesteryl ester and diacylglycerol hydrolysis in adipose tissue and is essential for complete hormone stimulated lipolysis, but other triacylglycerol lipases are important in mediating triacylglycerol hydrolysis in lipolysis. HSL knockouts are resistant to both high fat diet-induced and genetic obesity, displaying reduced quantities of white with increased amounts of brown adipose tissue, increased numbers of adipose macrophages, and have multiple alterations in the expression of genes involved in adipose differentiation, including transcription factors, markers of adipocyte differentiation, and enzymes of fatty acid and triglyceride synthesis. With disruption of lipolysis by removal of HSL, there is a drastic reduction in lipogenesis and alteration in adipose metabolism.