05/16/2014 at 02:00 PM EDT
's life-changing eating habits continue to be a struggle
, but the comedian says she's in it to win it.
"[My weight loss] is good. I had the vertical gastric sleeve
last August, after my heart attack
almost a year before that, and I've lost almost 50 lbs.
," she told PEOPLE at the Orange Is the New Black
premiere in New York on Thursday. "[The surgery] is only a tool. It's not like a magic pill, but it's working."
The comedian, who bid farewell
to her former boss Barbara Walters
earlier in the day, said the surgery has definitely curbed her appetite.
"They take out two thirds of your stomach – which holds the hunger hormones – and as a result of that you're not hungry anymore. I'll go to dinner with my wife, who's 105 lbs. soaking wet, and we'll order a petite filet. I'll have three bites and she'll finish it," she said.
O'Donnell's new eating habits are a far cry from the way she used to consume food.
"I'm not showing off, but before that I would've ate a 20 oz. rib eye and not thought of it, so it's a whole different way to have a relationship with food," she said.
The comedian, who said her current weight is "in the 180s," added that her doctor wants her to continue losing weight.
"He wants me to be 150-160 [lbs]. That's what I weighed in the 8th grade, so that'll be another 30 pounds," she said. "I'm eating as I'm supposed to. I'm exercising. I lose now about a pound every other week, so we'll see."