This isn't exactly "scientific", but I've found it really works well. The body is an amazing machine that can self-regulate, and it stands to reason that the body always seeks maintenance calories, so by going to bed hungry it makes sense that the body will be deprived of energy, and forced to go to fat stores while you sleep (which is the best time to burn fat anyway, when your heart-rate is low).
I've found that every day I eat healthy (not counting calories) and do exercise, and go to bed hungry, I wake up a bit lighter, and can notice the difference in appearance too. The key is also to avoid empty (non-filling) calories like sugary soft-drinks, lollies, chocolate etc. I find that even if I have a few drinks at a night club, I dance for so many hours that I burn it all off anyway.