Metabolism is at the core of all biological functions. Anabolic metabolism uses building blocks that are either derived from nutrients or synthesized de novo to produce the biological infrastructure, whereas catabolic metabolism generates energy to fuel all biological processes. Distinct metabolic programs are required to support different biological functions. Thus, recent studies have revealed how signals regulating cell quiescence, proliferation, and differentiation also induce the appropriate metabolic programs. In particular, a wealth of new studies in the field of immunometabolism has unveiled many examples of the connection among metabolism, cell fate decisions, and organismal physiology. We discuss these findings under a unifying framework derived from the evolutionary and ecological principles of life history theory.