Uncoupling protein 1 (Ucp1) is the key component of β-adrenergically controlled nonshivering thermogenesis in brown adipocytes. This process combusts stored and nutrient energy as heat. Cold exposure not only activates Ucp1-mediated thermogenesis to maintain normothermia but also results in adaptive thermogenesis, i.e., the recruitment of thermogenic capacity in brown adipose tissue. As a hallmark of adaptive thermogenesis, Ucp1 synthesis is increased proportionally to temperature and duration of exposure. Beyond this classical thermoregulatory function, it has been suggested that Ucp1-mediated thermogenesis can also be employed for metabolic thermogenesis to prevent the development of obesity. Accordingly, in times of excess caloric intake, one may expect a positive regulation of Ucp1. The general impression from an overview of the present literature is, indeed, an increased brown adipose tissue Ucp1 mRNA and protein content after feeding a high-fat diet (HFD) to mice and rats. The reported increases are very variable in magnitude, and the effect size seems to be independent of dietary fat content and duration of the feeding trial. In white adipose tissue depots Ucp1 mRNA is generally downregulated by HFD, indicating a decline in the number of interspersed brown adipocytes.