Dietary restriction (DR) extends lifespan in a wide variety of species, yet the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans HNF4α-related nuclear hormone receptor NHR-62 is required for metabolic and physiologic responses associated with DR-induced longevity. nhr-62 mediates the longevity of eat-2 mutants, a genetic mimetic of dietary restriction, and blunts the longevity response of DR induced by bacterial food dilution at low nutrient levels. Metabolic changes associated with DR, including decreased Oil Red O staining, decreased triglyceride levels, and increased autophagy are partly reversed by mutation of nhr-62. Additionally, the DR fatty acid profile is altered in nhr-62 mutants. Expression profiles reveal that several hundred genes induced by DR depend on the activity of NHR-62, including a putative lipase required for the DR response. This study provides critical evidence of nuclear hormone receptor regulation of the DR longevity response, suggesting hormonal and metabolic control of life span.