NEW YORK — Losing weight is a hard and slow process, but if you want to lose fat, it’s a lot easier said than done, researchers said Wednesday.

The research, published in the journal Obesity, found that individuals who were obese in adulthood were at a significantly higher risk of gaining weight later in life than those who were leaner.

“What you see is there’s a dramatic increase in the risk for obesity later in a person’s life,” said Dr. Michael Fiske, a professor of nutrition at the University of Wisconsin and lead author of the study.

Fiske conducted the research while he was an intern at the Mayo Clinic.

He said that it’s been about a decade since the Mayo study, but it still applies to weight loss.

The Mayo Clinic is a private, nonprofit institution that offers medical, dental, and vision care to more than 7 million people in the U.S. and more than 70 countries around the world.